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Reflections in the night

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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 97
Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reflections in the night Reply with quote

A dappled grey horse walked a dirt track in the dead of a night. Its rider moved in time with its gentle gait as they followed a path that led into the distance and toward the silhouette of a far-off mountain range that protruded into the dark, its peaks a borderline of jagged black beneath a cloudless, glittering sky.

The air was chill, the ground hard and dry under hoof and there was an unnatural silence to the place.

Mirshuko scanned the expanse ahead as best she could. She sought the camps to get her bearings for their torches and fires would be visible in the dark, yet she could see none. But how could she have ridden so far to be out of sight of her colleagues in such a short time, surely she had not gone that far. She signalled her mount to stop and with a weary sigh cast her gaze towards the stars, one by one checking off the few pinprick shapes and patterns she had committed to memory since her return to the guild.

"Well, I'm going the right way..." She chided, vexed by her own momentary doubt.

"Can you be so sure?" A soft, inquisitive voice answered close by in the dark.

Mir laughed awkwardly. It was not the most intelligent thing to do in the moment yet she could not help it. But turning one way then the other to locate the speaker, she caught no glimpse of a newcomer and quickly found her voice.

"Truthfully? I'm sure I know little and understand less. But if you've got something to say about that then at least show yourself."

The horse's weight shifted beneath Mir as it slowly turned its head askance to watch her. Then it spoke again.

"I'm right here. But more importantly where exactly are you going?" Not a single muscle twitched on its face yet every word was clear.

"You're..." Mirshuko's answer trailed off, her thoughts tangled themselves in the perplexity of what was occurring, her head dropped and she tapped a thumb between her eyes. But wasn't it just easier to accept what was happening and push on, after all, she'd had stranger conversations before?

"Okay, well, there is this plot of land I have plans for and I thought I'd go look when it was quiet, get a feel for it at night when no ones about. Only I can't find it now"

"Yes" The horse studied Mir with a look of calm sadness.

"That was a nice, practical idea. Not the worst you've had all considered. But you've been looking the wrong way" It intoned patiently and raised its long face upward as though to point.

"Look up. You'll see"
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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 97
Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mirshuko looked as directed and was immediately gripped with foreboding.

High above was the moon. It was full and aglow with sickly light, the silver silhouette of a rabbit diligently grinding pestle to mortar emblazoned its face but its edges were coming apart as if fraying. Mirshuko tightened her grip on the reigns.

"You've got a bigger problem than you think. Wars and death and ancient foes are bad and all but they'll pass with or without you. This though, if you let this happen then what will you do?"

"I... I don't have an answer" She spoke barely above a whisper.

"Of course you don't. And after the fighting, you'd be lucky if they thought you good for anything. So do something about it whilst there's still time"

Mirshuko looked back to the horse and reached out to place a hand on its neck.

"You're not what I expected but thank you for telling this to me straight" She didn't try to mask her cheerlessness while continuing "You're right, I've no business coming out here with hopes and plans when there are better ways to be protecting them, the promise comes first"

"Correct" The horse's ears twitched as it answered, prompting "But can you do enough?"

"Well, what I have is... I don't know. I don't know if I can" she admitted candidly.

"You don't know enough and you never will, but you could know more. It's there, isn't it? So if you can get it, take it. Take the consequences. Let it happen"

"I was afraid I'd forget myself, that's all" Mirshuko interjected quickly, the horse snorted and gazed at her levelly with one eye while a moments silence stretched between them.

"Oh. Right. No, that part doesn't matter anymore" She gently shook her head as clarity set in "Thank you for setting my course straight again ...I didn't ask your name, have you one?"

"I do. Call me -"

Mirshuko winced and clutched at her ears, pain stabbed through her head as the horse spoke but then it passed as, quite suddenly, she sneezed.

"Argh, what was that?!" quizzically she touched at her lips "And why does my mouth taste like butter?"

"You asked for my name. If it is not suitable then give me another but another time, perhaps? Your mind is starting to wander" The horse remarked impassively.

"I assure you, you have my full attention" Mir replied in earnest.

"No, you are waking up" A muted answer quickly faded away.
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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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Location: Cardiff

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"..What you say?" Mirshuko groaned in confusion.

Rolling over with some effort she stirred to the light of morning filtering into her cabin along with scattered conversations from sailors at work above. With a heavy sigh, she rubbed at her eyes before staring at the ceiling over her bunk, there was an unease in her stomach that bordered on pain and she breathed deeply to invoke a sense of calm. The details of the dream remained at the edge of her memory like a lingering presence and in a way that was familiar despite its surreal qualities, but what had been the cause?

She reached for a small notebook left upon the desk beside her and fished a disc-shaped scrap of parchment from its pages. It was small and detailed with a group of symbols in a deep red colour that she traced her finger over while she recalled what had been said. The dream had been no more than reality asserting itself, she felt sure of that, and for a moment also, regret.

"No. No, you must be bigger than that" She whispered, ashamed, and tapped her finger against the parchment "There are others ways to solve this puzzle. Do your job. Find them"

Returning the paper to the book Mirshuko swung her legs over the edge of the bunk and sat blinking at the small window illuminating her cabin. In a passing moment what sadness or doubt that remained were pushed away.

"Majime, that's a good name for a horse" she mused and lowered herself the floor.
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